Vega Magic
Vega Magic

Hayes weighs Vega options for spring

A jump-out down Flemington's straight on Friday will effectively determine the spring pathway of gun sprinter Vega Magic.

The dual Group 1 winner trialled at headquarters last week, finishing behind stablemate Fundamentalist.

"He went around in a hot trial and they ran one of the quickest times of the morning," Ben Hayes said. "He finished with the bunch.

"It was only his first trial so he wasn't asked to do too much and he's come through the trial well.

"We plan to trial him next week down the straight with the Aurie's Star (on August 10) in mind."

Runner-up in the augural The Everest in 2017, Vega Magic could be given a third shot at the race via the Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield on October 12.

Victory in the Schillaci would deliver a guaranteed start in The Everest, a week later at Randwick. Fundamentalist is also expected to trial again next week before her return next month and is also heading towards the Memsie Stakes on August 31.

"She's five times Group 1-placed. I think she's due a Group 1," Hayes said

with AAP



Craig Williams returns to scale on Miss Iano after claiming victory on Saturday.
Craig Williams returns to scale on Miss Iano after claiming victory on Saturday.


The Victorian metropolitan jockeys' premiership was touted at the start of the season as the battle between the State's two most decorated riders and it proved exactly that as Craig Williams and Damien Oliver went toe to toe again.

In the end, Williams was a comfortable 83-65 winner, notching his eighth title.

Williams' 2018-18 tally surpasses his previous best season haul of 81 in 2007-08.

He will now take a short break before returning for the August 24 meeting at The Valley.

Williams and Oliver have claimed 18 premierships between them, evidence of a staggering duopoly.

With only a handful of meetings left until the start of the new season on Thursday, Linda Meech will win the Victorian premiership, which takes in metropolitan, provincial and country winners.

Lindsay Park's David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig won the both metro and Victorian trainers' premierships.



Adam Sangster was excused a certain excitement on Friday with the arrival of a contingent of highly prized sires, including Sioux Nation - and his weekend just kept on improving.

A Group 1-winning two-year-old, and also triumphant in the same season at Royal Ascot, Sioux Nation joins the Swettenham Stud roster for the upcoming breeding season.

Owned by Coolmore Stud, the son of Scat Daddy will be joined at Nagambie by a quality group of stallions.

Fellow shuttlers Toronado and Highland Reel return to Swettenham to stand alongside Puissance de Lune, Trust In A Gust and Akeed Mofeed.

Sangster is delighted by the condition of the shuttle stallions, just as he was after Akeed Mofeed provided Saturday's impressive Listed Lightning Stakes (1050m) winner Assertive Approach.



There's plenty of positive chat over the Victoria Racing Club's initiative to introduce two new opportunities for young horses to race down the Flemington straight this spring.

Flemington will host the first two-year-old race of the season on Spring Classics preview day on September 25.

Over 900m, the race could be divided into two divisions, potentially based on gender, if the number of acceptances allows.

The new race is intended to give the juveniles invaluable race-day experience on Flemington's course proper on a relatively low-pressure day.

The club hopes the new race will become a launching pad into the Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes, the Group 3 Ottawa Stakes on Melbourne Cup Day or the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate on Oaks Day.

The VRC has also adjusted the distance of the Listed Poseidon Stakes on Turnbull Stakes day (October 5) from 1400m to 1100m.

The change is designed to allow the Poseidon Stakes to become a potential lead-up race for the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes on VRC Derby Day.



Ben Allen's hopes of registering his first Group 1 success in the Macau Derby (1800m) failed to materialise as his mount Sportsmanship trailed in a distant last.

Competing in Macau on a two-day license, Allen was never a chance on the 100-1 shot.

The Derby was won by New Zealand-bred Sacred Capital.



Racing returns to The Valley on Saturday for the "Season Opener" with nine races on the card.

In a week where one season ends and another starts, there are meetings at Casterton, Ballarat (Tuesday and Thursday), Sale and Moe.

Jumping highlights Sunday's Sandown program with the Grand National Hurdle and the Crisp Steeplechase.

Warrnambool hosts four hurdle and four steeplechase trials on Thursday.